A five-month-old baby has been discharged from hospital after being born prematurely just before Christmas.

Eva O'Brien, from Pinner, suffered from a condition called uterine growth retardation, which meant that she did not grow at a healthy rate in the womb, and was later diagnosed with an umbilical cord problem that placed pressure on her heart.

Weighing just 525 grams, Eva arrived ten weeks early and was rushed to the Royal London Hospital for emergency surgery when doctors noticed that her stomach was not connected to her oesophagus.

She stayed at the hospital for two months before being transferred to Northwick Park.

Medics advised her mother, Claire O’Brien, that Eva would need to weigh more than 500g in order to survive when she was born otherwise the equipment doctors would use to operate would be too big.

Ms O’Brien, whose own health began to deteriorate in December as a result of the pregnancy, said that she and her husband Eddie found Christmas “very hard”.

She said: “On Christmas morning my sisters who were also able to stay in the house, brought us some festive cheer with mince pies and a Christmas cracker.

“Eddie and I are both used to big family Christmases so being away from our family was really hard but having the house enabled us to have some family come and visit at least.

“It was wonderful that they could be with us at Christmas even if it was an unconventional one spent eating a takeaway around my hospital bed!”

She added: “We are ecstatic to finally have Eva home where she belongs, away from the clinical hospital environment full of monitors and beeping alarms.”